Biochemists Look to Proteins and Enzymes to Fight Cancer

By Beradelli, Phil | Insight on the News, September 16, 1996 | Go to article overview

Biochemists Look to Proteins and Enzymes to Fight Cancer


Beradelli, Phil, Insight on the News


Of the many research paths that might lead to more effective cancer treatments, cell division may be the most promising. In humans as well as in all living organisms, normal cell development depends on a delicate biochemical balance. Disruption of that balance, often by invasive proteins or enzymes, can lead to unregulated or abnormal growth - cancer. The cell's ability to defend against these insidious substances is considered vital in the fight against the disease.

Researchers have uncovered potentially useful information about certain chemicals that repress or neutralize prime suspects in the development of tumors. Scientists at the Laboratory of Molecular Growth Regulation, part of the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, in Bethesda, Md., have isolated an enzyme they believe counteracts the effects of E1A, a virus-produced protein that seems to trigger cancer.

According to Yoshihiro Nakatani, a member of the NIH team, the enzyme, known as P/CAF, competes with E1A to attach to growth-control proteins. When E1A binds with the proteins, the host cell becomes a rogue, dividing much more rapidly than the surrounding tissue and developing its own textural characteristics. If the errant cells are not destroyed by the body's immune system, a tumor begins to form. But cloning P/CAF and increasing its strength within the cell can counteract E1A. That is, the enzyme can re-engage the cell's normal growth and tumor-suppression functions.

The discovery of P/CAF is considered significant in understanding oncoproteins, but it may be some time before it can be added to the arsenal of cancer-fighting weapons. Even though P/CAF can be synthesized, at present there is no practical way to deliver it to cells. "You simply can't drink it," says Nakatani, because it would be digested in the stomach. And injection would work only if the substance could be delivered to individual cells.

That leaves two alternatives: gene therapy and drugs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Biochemists Look to Proteins and Enzymes to Fight Cancer
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.